New bike, scooter rental service now available in Birmingham

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — If you’re looking for a way to get around Birmingham, you now have a new option.

VeoRide, a bike and scooter rental service, is now available. You can pick up the rides at designated locations across the city and activate them through a smart phone. It’s the latest stage in the evolution of micro-mobility in the city – something city Councilor Darrell O’Quinn has worked toward for four years.

“If it has wheels and moves people, I want to see it operating in the city of Birmingham,” O’Quinn said. “So this is one of those options.”

O’Quinn, who believes Birmingham caters too heavily to people who own cars, has pushed for more transportation options since taking office in 2017. The process has involved changes to state and city laws, and other options like Zyp Bikeshare have arisen in the past. The docking stations for Zyp cost the city about $50,000 apiece, according to O’Quinn, but VeoRide does not require docking.

“The cost of being able to identify places where these people can go and get these vehicles is dramatically less,” O’Quinn said.

The service also is affordable to customers, which is part of the city’s purpose in offering it. The city requires companies like VeoRide to offer accessibility options for low-income residents. And the services can’t limit their availability to city-center locations; they also have to make bikes and scooters available in outlying neighborhoods.

“It’s an option that will help people access healthcare, education, jobs and reduce or eliminate that cost that is associated with owning a privately-owned automobile,” O’Quinn said.

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